I. Marlene King – Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood, Now & Then
Sara Shepard may have written the wildly popular books that the TV show Pretty Little Liars is based on, but it’s I. Marlene King who brings it to life every week on the small screen. I’ve always said that Pretty Little Liars is only masquerading as a teen drama; it’s really so much more than that. King, along with her band of brilliant writers, directors and cast, has created one of the most subversively smart, thrilling mystery shows on television today. King also understands her main demographic, tech savvy teenage girls and young women, and communicates with them using their own language. Social media. She tweets clues and teases reveals, calms shipper fears and stokes the flames of hysteria. (I’m talking about Ezria y’all) By encouraging fan involvement and input, she has helped make viewing Pretty Little Liars a community activity.
Also very worthy of mentioning are Pretty Little Liars writers and tweeters extraordinaire, Joseph Dougherty (twitter.com/Kockenlocker), Jonell Lennon (twitter.com/jonell_lennon), Andy Reaser (twitter.com/AndyReaser) and director Norman Buckley (twitter.com/norbuck). They are vital to the success of PLL, not just as artists, but also as active participants in its cultural phenomenon.
Emily Andras – Lost Girl
What’s even more delicious and frustrating than a love triangle? How about a quadrangle with three gorgeous women — and a wolf dude? Lost Girl is easily one of the gayest shows on television, and producer Emily Andras (twitter.com/emtothea) is the captain of this freighter. (Not that this showrunner will tell you what ship she’s rooting for.)
One of the things that sets Lost Girl apart is that Andras and her team have created characters you can’t help but care about, even when they aren’t part of your desired OTP. Andras is as whimsical as her show, listening, laughing and chatting with fans. She’s helped create a world where sexuality is a non-issue, and sexual freedom is celebrated rather than shamed. The real beauty of Lost Girl, however, is the throughline of family that Andras has woven, those we are born into, and those we create on our own.
Michael MacLennan – Bomb Girls, Queer as Folk
Let us take a moment to gnash our teeth and weep into our blue hair bonnets for the dearly, departed Bomb Girls. Now, that we have that out of our systems, let’s take a moment to recognize Bomb Girls head writer and producer, Michael MacLennan (twitter.com/zenfandango). MacLennan wrote a beautiful, female centric show that we all fell hopelessly in love with.
Prior to Bomb Girls, in addition to his numerous credits, MacLennan also played a major role as co-executive producer and writer on the ground breaking show, Queer as Folk. Whether you loved or couldn’t stand QAF’s unapologetic style, there is no doubt that it paved the way for shows like The L Word and inclusion of LGBT characters across the board. While Bomb Girls has officially been cancelled, loyal fans, cast and crew have been rallying to bring it back. Do you part Bombshells, and support Michael MacLennan and, of course, Betty McRae. Tell Shaw Media and GlobalTv you want your girls back.